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4 Effective Alternatives To The Latex Condom

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4 Effective Alternatives To Latex Condoms [EXPERT]
Sex

Allergic to latex? You can still have safe sex. Here's how.

At best, latex allergies are unpleasant. At worst, they're life-threatening.

People with a sensitivity to latex can experience extremely unpleasant symptoms when exposed to latex condoms, including a burning sensation on any area of exposed skin, the sudden appearance of rash or hives, itching, blisters, and — in some very severe cases — even anaphylaxis, which can lead to death. These are definitely not the type of pleasurable sensations that lead to a sexy time.

If you or your partner has a latex sensitivity, all hope for a fun (and safer) sex life is not lost. Condom technology has come a long way, and there are some incredible alternatives to latex condoms available. In fact, non-latex condoms can even be more pleasurable for couples, regardless of latex sensitivities. Your friends at Lucky Bloke are here to share the top non-latex condom options: 

1. Polyurethane condoms.

Polyurethane condoms are made from a special type of plastic. They not only prevent pregnancy, they reduce your risk of STDs including HIV.

These condoms have no odor and tend to have a longer shelf life than latex condoms; they are not as sensitive to temperature or UV lighting. Best of all, polyurethane condoms transfer heat very well between the condom and skin. As a result, many people find that polyurethane condoms offer a more intimate and pleasurable sensation than latex condoms.

Compared to latex condoms, polyurethane condoms are thinner and less elastic. They are not as form fitting as latex condoms, so it's important to keep that in mind when you're getting frisky. It is highly recommended that users pair a quality water-based or silicone-based lube with polyurethane condoms to reduce the risk of slippage or breakage.

Our top pick: TROJAN | Supra which offers a standard fit.

 

2. Polyisoprene condoms.

Polyisoprene condoms are relatively new to the market after gaining FDA approval for preventing pregnancy and STDs in 2008. These condoms are made out of a synthetic latex material which is just as strong as latex without containing the proteins that trigger allergic reactions.

Since this material was created in a laboratory setting, it has been engineered to offer a few key advantages over polyurethane or latex condoms. Notably, polyisoprene condoms are generally stretchier and more resistant to breakage than other condom options. They are slightly thicker than polyurethane or latex condoms and as a result, are a bit more form fitting. Despite the added thickness, polyisoprene condoms are very soft to the touch and offer an enjoyable sensation.

These condoms pair very well with water-based lubricants and silicone-based lubricants, but should never be used with oil based lubricants.

Our top picks: LifeStyles |SKYN which offers a standard fit; LifeStyles | SKYN Large which offers a larger fit.

 

3. FC2 (aka the female condom).

The FC2 (aka the female condom) offers an advantage for women who want to ensure protection from pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infection. The female condom is a strong, thin, and flexible nitrile sheath inserted into the vagina, prior to sex. It has a flexible polyurethane ring on one end, a soft nitrile ring on the other, and is absolutely latex-free. It is pre-lubricated with a slick silicone-based lubricant, but additional lubricant can be used, as well.

Many advances have been made to the FC2 condom. It is not much larger than a "male" condom and it has no latex odor. There are so many advantages to this condom that it is impossible to list them all here. 

The FC2 is a great choice for any condom user who has any type of allergies or chemical sensitives. Also, as the woman wears the condom, they are the only option that works no matter the size of the man's penis.  This is incredibly important for men who benefit from a slimmer, more tailored condom. The FC2 is the only non-latex option for these couples.

The FC2 is also the ideal alternative for any couple that faces condom-related erectile challenges.  And if this isn't enough, couples who seek enhanced pleasure (better heat transmission, more stimulation, and a natural feel) should absolutely check the FC2 out. 

Our top pick: FC2 | Female Condom which offers a fantastic fit, regardless of penis size.

 

4. Natural skin condoms.

Natural skin condoms are one of the oldest methods of birth control, and are made from a thin layer of sheep cecum (which is part of sheep intestines). Due to their porous nature, lambskin condoms should only be used to prevent pregnancy. They are not effective at preventing STDs. Unless you are absolutely certain that both you and your partner are completely STD and HIV free, lambskin condoms are NOT the option for you. 

Many people who use lambskin condoms say that they're extremely pleasurable due to their thin construction, and how well they conduct heat. In fact, many men who use lambskin condoms have reported that they're barely able to tell that they're even wearing a condom during sex. For those who are concerned about the environment, these condoms are also completely biodegradable. They're not as elastic as latex condoms, and they're a bit more generous in fit than latex alternatives.

Since these condoms are made from an animal by-product, they do have a certain smell that might take some getting used to. Of the three latex condom alternatives, lambskin condoms are by far the most expensive at several dollars per condom, and are currently only manufactured by TROJAN. Despite these potential drawbacks, lambskin condoms remain popular and can be used with any lubricant. Our top pick: TROJAN | NaturaLamb which will fit all men albeit a bit differently.

 

Even if you don't have a latex allergy, it's not a bad idea to keep a few non-latex condoms at hand if you're sexually active with multiple partners.

You never know when you might end up in a sexy situation with someone who has a latex sensitivity. Safe sex is everyone's responsibility.

For those of you in a monogamous relationship, there's a lot to be said for keeping things fresh in the bedroom; trying out new condoms might just give you the incentive you need to get busy. 

Lucky Bloke extends a huge thank you to our friend in adventure and safety (and guest writer) Tiffany Perry. Tiffany is a true southern belle (perhaps, inappropriate to some) with a burning desire for all things Canadian. (We aren't going to get into that here.) You can follow Tiffany on Twitter. You'll be glad you did!

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